Kevlar Tyres For German Grand Prix

Following yesterday’s announcement that the forthcoming Young Drivers Test at Silverstone would become a Pirelli tyre test in which the race drivers would take part, Pirelli are expected to announce that they will revert back to the Kevlar-belt tyres as oppose to the current steel versions which wreaked havoc during the British Grand Prix. The official statement is expected to be made later today, with the new tyres being used at next weekend’s German Grand Prix.
The sudden decision from Pirelli has been made on account of two reasons. Firstly, both Lotus and Force India stated after Sunday’s race that they would no longer object to a mid-season change of tyres on safety grounds. Secondly, Pirelli and the FIA have been forced by the teams to act on driver’s concerns following the threats of a German Grand Prix boycott.
The Daily Telegraph broke the news this morning, writing, ‘It is understood the Italian manufacturer will issue a statement today, with a switch from steel to Kevlar belts – which it intended to make in Canada last month before the change was blocked by a handful of teams – coming into effect immediately.’ Pirelli now have their work cut out to prepare the tyres ready to be dispatched to Germany. It must be noted that the Kevlar construction are the development tyres which were used in practice sessions at Montreal and Silverstone. Consequently, they do not have to make an entire batch of tyres, as the likelihood is that some unused sets will make an appearance in Germany. Regardless, it is still going to be a hectic few days at Pirelli.
One possible option suggested by both Martin Whitmarsh and Christian Horner was a return to the 2012 compound tyres. However, it would be impossible for Pirelli to recreate the old compound tyres with just a one week break between races. ‘A return to 2012 tyres, which also featured Kevlar belts, would have been the preferred solution this weekend but there is insufficient time to prepare them given the five-day turnaround from Sunday’s race to Friday’s first practice session at the Nurburgring. The use of 2012 tyre structures, with 2013 compounds, is likely to come into effect from Hungary at the end of July.’
The switch will please teams up and down the paddock, as it removes the safety concerns. However, it will inevitably put a strain on Pirelli’s budget as the Kevlar-belt is far more costly than the steel-belt. With these increased costs it is now even more unlikely that Pirelli will look to obtain a new contract with the FIA at the end of this season.


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